Older people treated aggressively for hypertension may be at higher risk for injuries from falling. Investigators tracked roughly 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries for three years. These senior citizens had high blood pressure. Most of them were taking medications to control hypertension.
Those receiving multiple medications, as so many older people do, were at significantly higher risk for falls leading to hip fractures and head injuries. People who had fallen in the previous year were more than twice as likely to experience another serious injury if they were taking antihypertensive medications.
Older patients who experience dizziness, drowsiness or unsteadiness as side effects of their medicine should discuss the benefits and risks of aggressive blood pressure control with their physicians.
[JAMA Internal Medicine, online, Feb. 24, 2014]
We describe the various types of blood pressure medicines and their pros and cons in our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment. The 8-page guide also has advice on nondrug approaches that may help control blood pressure adequately with fewer medications.